Pregnancy brings about many changes in the body and can also make you prone to gum diseases. The hormonal changes and an increase of blood flow can make your gums swollen and tender. This can lead to bleeding when you brush or floss. If gum disease is left untreated in early stages, it can develop into more serious infections. Therefore, it is especially important that women who are pregnant practice good oral hygiene habits.
Some of the symptoms of gum disease during pregnancy include:
• Swollen, red or bleeding gums
• Increased sensitivity
• Pain when chewing
• Loose teeth
Here are some tips to prevent and manage gum problems during pregnancy:
• See your dentist regularly and don’t forget to let know about your pregnancy.
• Make a habit to brush twice a day (once in the morning and then at night)
• Brush and floss thoroughly. It need not be aggressive and hard, but gentle brushing with a soft brush is good, especially if you have sensitive gums.
• Try and use toothpaste with fluoride.
• Clean your mouth properly after every meal
• Vitamin C and Vitamin A are known to help .
• Limit foods with high sugar content and sticky food or candies.
• Keep your sugar levels under control if you have diabetes
• Avoid smoking
• If you wish to use mouthwash regularly during pregnancy, check with your dentist about the safety of the product.
• Gargling with sea salt might help to reduce the inflammation of gums
There’s no clear evidence on whether gum disease can directly affect the baby’s development. Some studies have shown that good dental health and general health can reduce the likelihood of premature birth, low birth weight etc.
Ideally, you should consult your dentist while planning your pregnancy or in the early stages of pregnancy to rule out any existing dental problems. If you are diagnosed with a dental problem later on, you should let your dentist know about your pregnancy, so that any unwanted x-rays can be avoided, and appropriate management can be planned.